But How many Riders will become Injured during
these Sprint Races designed just to Spice Up the Show?
The 2023 MotoGP season got off to a late start
this year, due to Qatar’s’ Losail International Circuit being renovated. Thus
the premiere road racing Kneedraggers’ began their season on March 26th in
On Friday, KTM Satellite GasGas Tech 3 rider
Pol Espargaro lost adhesion with His rear tyre and slid thru the gravel trap Sans
Motorcycle before impacting the Wall Himself with a vicious Thump! As the younger
Espargaro suffered contusions to His lungs and ribs, a broken Jaw and broken Vertebrae!
Being taken to Hospital and obviously missing the weekend’s Portuguese Grand
As His older brother Aleix has revealed
following His visit to the Barcelona Hospital Pol was recovering at. It will obviously
be a long recovery process due to needing Jaw surgery, and dealing with His
Back, ribs and lung issues…
Although presumably the satellite KTM team would
draft in a replacement rider, albeit I’d read nothing on this prior to MotoGP’s
Friday practice of the second round at Argentina a week later.
Saturday afternoon saw the commencing of the inaugural
Sprint race, which MotoGP has introduced for All 21 rounds this year on
Saturday’s at 2PM local time. Which simply adds an extra race each weekend,
being Half Distance of Sunday’s main event.
With the Sprint race’s paying out Points for
the Top Nine riders, with a maximum of 12 points offered to the Sprint winner. With
the remaining eight points places descending from 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
Hence, there will be a maximum of 777 points on
offer for the season’s 21 races, with a maximum score of 37 points per weekend
And the Hits just kept Ah-Comin’, Yowza! As newly
anointed Ducati Factory rider Enea Bastianini, whose nickname is “The Beast was
collected in the first ever Sprint race by fellow VR46 Duc’ rider Luca Marini.
As Marini, Half Brother of somebody named “The
Doctor,” aka Valentino Rossi, who just so happens to own the racing team. Apparently
Overcooked the entry to Turn-5 on lap-2 and Knocked down Bastianini, who went
down Hard on His right shoulder! Which afterwards was diagnosed as being
fractured, ruling Bastianini out of Sunday’s main race.
But wait Folks, we’re Not done yet with the melee!
As the opening laps of Sunday’s main race saw Ye Pinball Wizzard’, nee Marc
Marquez Outbrake Himself, when locking up a “cold” front Michelin tyre. Glancing
off of Jorge Martin, who later claimed to have a broken toe from this incident.
Followed by Marquez ricocheting into a Hapless
Michele Oliveira, for which the majority of the crowd was rooting for their
Countryman to be victorious again. As both riders went down Hard and Marquez
was met with a chorus of Boos when trying to apologize to the partisan Portuguese
And thus the Scoreboard would eventually tally
these four riders not racing a week later in Argentina! With further controversy
surrounding Marquez and Repsol Honda, after if was confirmed that the Spaniard
had suffered a broken right Thumb in the incident.
Having initially been docked with a Double Long
Lap Penalty to be served at Argentina. The Team believed the wording of the
initial ruling thus circumvented Marquez from serving the penalty at a further
race by skipping Argentina after having Hand surgery…
Yet it basically turned into The Pecco’ Bagnaia
Show, as the reigning MotoGP World Champion Blitzed the field in both Saturday
and Sunday’s event.
Since even though Maverick “top gun” vinales
gave Francesco Bagnaia a spirited chase, Vinales could never get close enough
to the Italian for an attempt to pass for the lead, which Bagnaia managed effectively
Flag-to-Flag. Whilst VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi was a somewhat distant third for an
all Italian manufacturer Podium sweep Sunday at Portimoa.
And with Bagnaia winning both races, the
Italian left Portugal with 37 points in the bag, ahead of Vinales with 25
Argentina’s Round 2 saw both the RNF Aprilia
and GasGas Tech 3 KTM satellite Squads electing to not replace their injured riders.
As Oliveira who suffered injuries to His Foot, possibly including ligament
damage chose to sit out to Heel fully for Round 3 at Circuit Of The Americas at
Austin on April 16th.
Then just hours prior to Friday practice commencing
at Argentina, the GasGas Tech 3 team announced that KTM Test Rider Jonas Folger
would replace Pol Espargaro beginning at Austin, for an undetermined duration during
As Folger’s only previous MotoGP campaign was
in 2017 as a Rookie with the then Tech 3 Yamaha satellite outfit,. With Folger
finishing runner-up to Marc Marquez at His Home race at the Sachsenring, Before
the German was diagnosed with Gilbert’s Syndrome, prematurely ending His MotoGP
Have to say I’m surprised that neither Factory
Ducati or Honda Squads elected to have their Test Riders Deputize for their
injured Werks’ riders at Argentina. Leaving us with a paltry 18 riders taking
the Green Flag for Saturday’s second Sprint Race. Which Hopefully wouldn’t see
any more riders being seriously injured!
Yet little did I know that Repsol Honda’s sole
remaining rider for the weekend,
Joan Mir would be ruled out of Sunday’s main race in Argentina. As Mir suffered a concussion on lap-1 of the Saturday Sprint Race after Crashing! And suffering Nausea and Dizziness Sunday morning, was ruled Unfit to race.